Burns Night

As it’s Burns night here in Scotland, its time for a wee ‘Did ye ken’ haggis fact.

Wild Haggis’s left and right legs are of different lengths, this is useful as it lets the wee timorous beasties run quickly around the steep mountains and hills of the Scottish Highlands.

In fact legend has it, there are actually two species of Haggis one with longer left legs and the other with longer right legs. The former variety can run clockwise around a mountain while the latter can run anticlockwise. – This of course, is a true and factual statement.

So, time to raise a wee dram and address yer haggis :-

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

Robert Burns

Robert Burns

Edinburgh Christmas 2016 – It Starts

Well it’s that time of the year already… its flown past
so with the Christmas attractions out already, its time to experiment with some log exposure night shots… here is the Star Flyer.  Bit of a scunner, I cut the top of the Scott Monument off 🙁

Edinburgh Christmas 2016

Edinburgh Christmas 2016

Scotland and Brexit – Outlook Worsens as Options Narrow

This article was published by the University of Edinburgh, reading the current Brexit situation that is facing Scotland, as it looks as if the only way that can stay in the Europian Union is another independence referendum.

if you don’t want to read the whole article skip to the bottom, read the brief summery of dates and possible outcomes.

Both hard Brexit and soft Brexit scenarios each present their own challenges for the UK, writes Kirsty Hughes. She suggests that, for Scotland, it is almost

The Flodden Wall

The Flodden wall – medieval Edinburgh’s main defensive wall. Enclosing the southern part of the city, through what is today the Grassmarket, Cowgate and Greyfriars, the northern section of the city was defended by the Nor Loch and nobody wanted to dip in to that, it was disgusting.

The newly crowned king of England was up to their usual rhetoric claiming to be overlord of Scotland, then in 1513 Henry VIII of England invaded France, James IV of Scotland reenacted the Auld Alliance and invaded England, Unfortunately this was a mistake and the Scottish army was massacred. James was also killed thus being the last Scottish monarch to die on the battlefield.

This wall was built in fear of an English reprisal, but it’s also the main reason why there are so many closes in Edinburgh’s old town – Build buildings close together, build them high as space was premium. (gardyloo & haud yer hun – but thats another story)

you can still see Surviving fragments throughout the city, as with its expansion the Teller wall

Edinburgh Festival Fireworks concert 2016 – A wee Album

Here is a small album from last Mondays fireworks concert,  30 photos
taken from Castle street, Thankfully I arrived an hour before it all began, thus getting a pretty good vantage point.  This was my first attempt at shooting fireworks.

Edinburgh Festival Fireworks

And that’s it for 2016 – Haste ye back 2017

The culmination of the festival is a spectacular pyrotechnic fireworks concert…. the sky lights up in time to music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from, this all takes place from the castle, it  can be heard and seen from many places across the city

Edinburgh Festival 2016 - Fireworks

Edinburgh Festival 2016 – Fireworks

I have never attempted firework photos before, I did take many, oh so many!! 😉 I’ll upload a wee album soon as I can

Edinburgh Festival 2016 – Street Performers

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is over for 2016!
During the month of August you will find a plethora of street performers around the city centre plying their trade.   Juggling fire seems to be one of the more popular acts, (I always think that juggling fire in Scotland is rather optimistic, as it does rains a lot) but some are more daring juggling dangerous weapons including chainsaws and machetes.   Unfortunately I only had the ooomph to get out and take photos towards the end.  Below is a small gallery of the performers that graced the streets of Edinburgh in August 2016.

Interestingly something else happened! The middle of the festival a Saturday afternoon I managed to walk the length of the High Street without being offered a single flyer, even after making eye contact.  Many will call me a liar, but it did indeed happen…. perhaps they just though there goes the grumpiest man in Edinburgh?  😉